They tell me that the first part of an adventure is the first step out the door.

Bilbo Baggins tells Frodo that once you step onto the road, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.

Boy, if that isn’t the truth.

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For the last two years, my life has been devoted to one overarching mission: get into graduate school.

And finally, at long last, it has happened.

I am going.

At the time of this writing, I’m not yet sure how or when.

But I am going.

And let me tell you: it is freaking me the heck OUT.

I have lived in Lubbock for five years, and now I suddenly cannot deal with my big feelings about oh my gosh – I’m leaving.

I am unable to connect. I find myself in my own company more often than not, afraid of what will come out around other people.

I’m sleepy, because I’m not sleeping.

Part of that is from the decision-making process; another part is that I just like to be awake and do things.

I like for my hands to be busy.

But I find that I am no longer listening.

I am not paying attention to the life around me.

I am looking for what I want to see, but the small things? The details?

I am not noticing them.

I am filling my life with chatter and song and -- it reminds me of Italian recitative.

We sing it in Mozart opera, especially. Mozart and Handel, in case you were interested.

It’s basically pitched dialogue, sung at speech tempo. It requires a knowledge of Italian phrasing and syntax and the ability to at least pronounce Italian like you are an actor in a straight play. It’s one of my favorite things about opera; I get better and better at it every day.

My life feels like recitative.

Like a patter song: lists of things at very quick tempo and very quick rhythm. A lot of the time the notes are so fast there isn’t time for the singer’s voice to vibrate.

You know what vibrato is?

Relaxation.

My voice teacher in undergrad (is it not trippy that I can say that phrase?) told me once to make a fist and clench it HARD. I did. He pointed out, “Now, if you do that long enough, your arm will begin to shake.” Freshman Sara nods. “Do you know why that is?” Freshman Sara shakes her head. “The muscles are trying to relax. Your vocal folds do the same thing. There’s so much air passing over them that they have to vibrate to relax” – especially up higher, in my most comfortable range.

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There are things about my life that feel shaky.

This is my big step out the door. Me putting my foot onto the road.

I do not fear I will be swept away. I don't. Because this has been my dream for so long.

But my life here is beautiful. It is a gift. I could not have built it better if I had tried.

And leaving it is sad to me.

In a few months' time I'm pulling apart the room that has been mine for three years, taking all my personality off the walls, packing it into my little white car, and driving away.

I don't know if I will ever come back to stay. I have lots of hopes to come back to visit -- there are several things that would bring me back here for weekends -- but to stay?

in the long run, who can say except God? But I will tell you that it does not look that way.

I'm in the weird place of seeing that my life is good here and wanting to keep it, and also knowing that if I stayed I would not be happy.

Because y'all.

I get to go to graduate school.

The more I say it the more excited I become.

The more I tell people, "I'm moving to North Carolina," the more I can feel a slight thrill bubble up inside my chest.

Because I'm moving! This is an Adventure -- a real, live Adventure!

Even as I type that, I am overjoyed. What a gift.

I find myself saying that phrase more and more these days: What a gift.

The issue is, I don't know that I see it as a gift. I don't know that I always believe that it is a gift to me. I am waiting for it all to come tumbling down around my ears.

But God is kind, and He has given me something here that is difficult (though not impossible) to leave, as well as something exciting and beautiful to look forward to. Two gifts, as it were.

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Sometimes I'm just writing without a real goal. Today is one of those days.

I'm not really sure what to say.

This liminal, in-between space has no conclusion. It's just that: in-between.

We are waiting and we are poised and we are not yet and we are already.

And we are here.

We are now.

And right now -- that's where I want to be.

Here, in this town that's been my home for five years.

Here, in this place that I've come to love.

Here, with the group of people I adore.

Here, doing the work that's been given to me for now. For the time being.

Being.

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Here is where I want to be.

The moving part comes later.

Now, here is where I want to be. In stillness, in expectation, yes -- but not particularly in any hurry to go anywhere.

Because, you see, my life is beautiful.

And I have come to love it.

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